Green Thumb Tips
Echter’s Plant Doctors are available
during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For
accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
Wait until danger of
frost has passed before planting tender plants. Frost
blankets can help protect your plants from unexpected late freezes.
back your annuals at planting to promote stronger, bushier plants and more
More on Planting and Caring
for Annuals and Vegetables
- Annuals, vegetable plants and roses,
selected from inside our
greenhouses should be “hardened off” before planting outdoors. This is
done by exposing the plants to the hot sun and drying winds gradually until
the plants are fully acclimated.
- Use weed preventer to keep weeds from sprouting
in your flower and vegetable gardens after you have
set out your plants.
Don't use weed preventer where you are sowing seed until after it is up and
your outdoor hanging baskets and planters have dried out too quickly in the
past, mix granules
of Soil Moist (a polymer) into the media of your container gardens and hanging baskets
before you plant. This
will help retain water for the plants to use as needed.
We've added polymers to Echter’s
Container Mix so you can reduce the frequency of watering.
Perennials & Roses
Deadhead, (cut off the old flowers) on
daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other spring-blooming bulbs, but
don't remove foliage
until after it turns yellow. The foliage is making nutrients for
the bulbs for next year's show of color.
Put up plant supports now for perennials that need to be
staked, like delphiniums, peonies, yarrow, etc. Before you know it
these plants will be too tall to do it easily.
Make your list of the tomato
varieties and pepper varieties you want to grow in your garden from these links. It's easier if you know what you want before you go shopping.
Echter's Tomato Varieties
Echter's Pepper Varieties
- Plant your corn when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees. Plant in
blocks to improve pollination by
Ross netting over your strawberries will help
keep birds and squirrels out of your fruit crops. In addition,
Bird Scare tape
will be beneficial in protecting your fruit.
the "When is it
safe..." link mentioned above to our Frost Hardiness Chart which will enable you to
judge when to plant your vegetable starts.
- Mow your lawn during the day or early evening when the grass is dry. Never
mow when there is moisture
- on the blades. This encourages the spread of
disease and causes the clipping to clump.
If you fed your lawn in April, put on another application of
fertilizer before the summer heat arrives.
The best part of the day to water your lawn is early
in the morning while it is still
cool. There will be a
lot less moisture lost to evaporation and the grass will
be more resistant to fungal disease.
- Now is a great time to reseed the bare spots in your lawn. Rake the
areas thoroughly, scatter the grass seed and water it in, so that the
seed can settle into the loose soil. Keep the seed moist until it has
germinated. Fertilize with New Lawn Starter. Do not use a
fertilizer with weed preventer in the areas where you have seeded or
it will prevent the grass seed from germinating.
Echter's Grass Seed Blends
- If you
had disease problems in your lawn last year, apply Ferti-lome F-Stop as a preventive measure.
Trees & Shrubs
Prune off old lilac flowers just below the flower right after they
bloom. Trim out a couple of the thickest branches all the way to
the base to help keep the lilac full
and well shaped. Prune other
early-flowering shrubs after their blooming time as well.
Did you have worms in
your apples last year? Help prevent these nuisances by spraying your apple
trees with Bonide Fruit Tree Spray. Spray
your fruit trees as soon as the flowers fade to control insects early.
preventive measure is
to rake up weekly all the apples which fall to the ground.
Divide water lilies and
other hardy pond plants this month. Place Aquatic Plant Tabs into the
soil of your pots of water plants to fertilize them.
Water hyacinths and water lettuce are nature's floating filters. They help
oxygenate the water and keep algae growth down. Algae can also be
a floating barley straw bale in the pond.
- Wait to
introduce the tropical water plants when the water temperature reaches and
stabilizes at 70 degrees.
Take your camera when
visiting public gardens or even your friends' gardens.
If you want to have a
beautiful flower or shrub you’ve seen, bring in a picture or a sample and we
can help identify it for you.
Move your houseplants out to the covered patio at the end of May. Keep them
out of the wind and direct sunlight. Remember to check them for
dryness, since they will dry out much faster than they did indoors.
Fertilize your indoor plants twice a month with Jack's Classic Houseplant Special. A good fertilizing
program will help your houseplants get their good spurt of new growth
- When trying to lure butterflies to your garden, place the
butterfly-attracting plants in a large grouping.
A saucer full of wet sand
will provide water for butterflies. Ask for a list of plants which will
attract butterflies to your yard at our Plant Doctor desk.
- Attract ladybugs to your yard by planting marigolds, angelica, roses,
butterfly weed, yarrow and many other plants. You can start your
“colony” with ladybugs from Echter’s. Remember to disperse them
in late evening when it is calm and mist the plant on which you need